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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2022

Arpita Agnihotri and Saurabh Bhattacharya

The purpose of this study is to examine a moderated mediation relationship between customer incivility and employee retaliation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine a moderated mediation relationship between customer incivility and employee retaliation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study tested the hypotheses using data from 459 hospitality industry employee responses. Data was collected by using Amazon’s MTurk.

Findings

The study results suggest that employee anger mediates the customer incivility and employee retaliation relationship. Further, the employee’s regulatory focus (namely, promotion and preventive regulatory focus) moderates this mediated relationship. Specifically, employee promotion regulatory focus positively moderates the relationship between customer incivility and employee anger, whereas prevention regulatory focus negatively moderates the relationship.

Originality/value

Extant study has not explored customer incivility and employee retaliation relationship under moderated mediation influence of regulatory focus and employee anger, respectively.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Xiaojun Zhan, Wenhao Luo, Hanyu Ding, Yanghao Zhu and Yirong Guo

Prior studies have mainly attributed customer incivility to dispositional characteristics, whereas little attention has been paid to exploring service employees' role in…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies have mainly attributed customer incivility to dispositional characteristics, whereas little attention has been paid to exploring service employees' role in triggering or reducing customer incivility. The purpose of the present study is to propose and test a model in which service employees' emotional labor strategies affect customer incivility via influencing customers' self-esteem threat, as well as examine the moderating role of customer's perception of service climate.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a matched sample consisting of 317 employee-customer dyads in China, multiple regression analysis and indirect effect tests were employed to test our model.

Findings

The study shows that employee surface acting is positively related to customer incivility, whereas deep acting is negatively associated with customer incivility. Moreover, customer self-esteem threat mediates the relationship between both types of emotional labor and customer incivility. Customer perception of service climate moderates the relationship between deep acting and customer self-esteem threat.

Originality/value

The current research broadens the antecedents of customer incivility from the employee perspective and sheds more light on the role of customer self-esteem in the interactions between employees and customers. It also demonstrates a complementary relationship between service climate and individual employees' emotional labor strategies, thereby expanding the existing understanding of the management of employees' emotional labor.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 March 2021

Fabian Onyekachi Ugwu, Ernest Ike Onyishi, Okechukwu O. Anozie and Lawrence Ejike Ugwu

In this paper, the impact of customer incivility on work engagement was investigated. The authors also explored whether supervisor positive gossip and workplace friendship…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the impact of customer incivility on work engagement was investigated. The authors also explored whether supervisor positive gossip and workplace friendship prevalence moderated the impact of customer incivility on work engagement in the Nigerian context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a time-lagged design to collect data from 258 frontline casual dining restaurant employees across city centers in South-eastern Nigeria who completed Time 1 and Time 2 paper surveys after a one-month interval.

Findings

Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that while customer incivility was negatively lx`inked to work engagement, supervisor positive gossip and workplace friendship prevalence were positively linked to work engagement. It was also found that both supervisor positive gossip and workplace friendship prevalence moderated the negative connection between customer incivility and work engagement.

Practical implications

One proactive way to forestall the negative impact of customer incivility on work engagement is for managers to devise approaches to decrease the impact of uncivil customer behaviors, such as developing an atmosphere that engenders friendship and speaking positively to subordinates about other employees' work behaviors.

Originality/value

Although increased scholarly attention has been paid to workplace incivility, customer incivility has not been sufficiently addressed. Earlier research on workplace gossip is influenced by the widely-held belief that gossip is often negative, with far less attention given to the sunny side of gossip. This study is one of the earliest efforts to examine the moderating roles of supervisor positive gossip and workplace friendship prevalence in the negative link between customer incivility and work engagement in the hospitality industry.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 April 2020

Bao Cheng, Gongxing Guo, Jian Tian and Ahmed Shaalan

Using equity theory, this study aims to examine the role of customer incivility in effecting service sabotage among hotel employees by recognizing the mediating role of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Using equity theory, this study aims to examine the role of customer incivility in effecting service sabotage among hotel employees by recognizing the mediating role of revenge motivation and the moderating effect of emotion regulation.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-wave, multi-source questionnaire survey was conducted with 291 employee–supervisor dyads at chain hotels in Shenzhen, China. Previously developed and validated measures for customer incivility, revenge motivation, emotion regulation and service sabotage were adopted to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Customer incivility increased employees’ revenge motivation and service sabotage. Emotion regulation acted as a boundary condition for customer incivility’s direct effect on revenge motivation and its indirect effect on service sabotage through revenge motivation. Cognitive reappraisal mitigated the detrimental influence of customer incivility, whereas expressive suppression worsened its adverse effects.

Practical implications

Managers should monitor and deter the emergence of uncivil behaviors, provide psychological support for employees experiencing customer incivility and encourage these employees to use cognitive reappraisal rather than expressive suppression as an emotion regulation strategy.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, no prior research has investigated the customer incivility–service sabotage relationship in the hotel industry. This study sheds light on how customer incivility can motivate service sabotage among hotel employees. Furthermore, the authors used equity theory rather than the commonly adopted resources perspective to offer new insights into the customer incivility–service sabotage relationship.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 March 2018

Huseyin Arasli, Boshra Hejraty Namin and A. Mohammed Abubakar

On the basis of person–job fit theory and conservation of resource theory, this study aims to develop and test a model to examine the impact of polychronicity on frontline…

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Abstract

Purpose

On the basis of person–job fit theory and conservation of resource theory, this study aims to develop and test a model to examine the impact of polychronicity on frontline employees’ job performance in hotel industry and simultaneously, investigate the moderating effects of supervisor, coworker and customer incivility as stressors in the relationship between polychronicity and employees’ job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are obtained in North Cyprus from 262 frontline employees working in four- and five-star hotels.

Findings

The results suggest that polychronicity refers to employees’ performance. Customer incivility negatively and significantly influences job performance, but coworker and supervisor incivilities do not. Unlike coworker incivility, both customer and supervisor incivilities moderate the relationship between polychronicity and job performance; that is, high customer and/or supervisor incivility weaken the positive relationship between polychronicity and job performance.

Practical implications

Regarding the critical role of polychronic frontline employees, hotel management should recruit the right candidates and endeavor to retain such employees by offering monetary and non-monetary incentives, training and empowering. They may implement a zero-tolerance policy that simultaneously supports both parties (customers and employees).

Originality/value

The association between employee quality (i.e. polychronicity), job performance and incivility is often overlooked in the hospitality research. This study is the first attempt to consider the joint moderating effect of important social stressors (customer, coworker and supervisor incivility) in the hotel industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Todd J. Bacile

The domain of digital service not only includes digital service products made available for purchase but also the provision of digital customer service, such as customers

1968

Abstract

Purpose

The domain of digital service not only includes digital service products made available for purchase but also the provision of digital customer service, such as customers seeking support on brands' social media channels. This type of digital customer service introduces new challenges not found in offline service recovery situations. This research highlights one such occurrence by investigating customer-to-customer (C2C) interactions during digital service recovery. In particular, dysfunctional dialog, such as online incivility (e.g. rude and insulting comments), directed at a complainant by a fellow customer is investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from an online panel are utilized to test the hypothesized relationships between dysfunctional customer behavior (i.e. online incivility), C2C interactional justice, customer perceived service climate and three forms of experiential value using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

Findings

The results show that customer perceptions of the firm's service climate are negatively affected by online incivility but only when such incivility produces C2C injustice. This outcome is notable due to the strong relationship found between customer perceived service climate and the following three forms of online experiential value: sociability, hedonic and pragmatic value. Thus, a weakened service climate subsequently leads to weakened experiential value for complainants.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical implications of two nascent constructs, C2C interactional justice and customer perceived service climate, are further developed with reference to digital customer service situations. In particular, given that prior research has focused on customer perceptions of service climate in core consumption situations of enjoyable face-to-face service experiences, it has only considered optimal or extremely positive service climate assessments in non-digital contexts. This study expands the understanding of the customer perceived service climate construct by examining the implications of a sub-optimal service climate in a digital customer service situation of an unenjoyable service experience. The limitations include a small sample size, the use of hypothetical scenarios and a failure situation limited to a single industry.

Practical implications

Managers who oversee social media channels or online communities must be prepared to act upon C2C online incivility. Deeming such communications as innocent online chatter not worthy of company intervention is a mistake, as the results of this study show that such inaction may lead to negative customer perceptions of the digital service environment and harm the customer experience.

Originality/value

This work develops a greater understanding of the importance of C2C interactional justice and customer perceived service climate in online customer service situations that prior research has yet to establish. In particular, previous studies have not investigated the negative effects of a situation that produces sub-optimal customer perceptions of a service climate.

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Won-Moo Hur, Taewon Moon and Jea-Kyoon Jun

This study aims to examine how workplace incivility (i.e. coworker and customer incivility) affects service employees’ creativity, specifically the way emotional…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how workplace incivility (i.e. coworker and customer incivility) affects service employees’ creativity, specifically the way emotional exhaustion at work decreases their intrinsic motivation, and, in turn, damages service employees’ creativity. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to show the mechanism by which both coworker and customer incivility at work affects service employee creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

Service employees from a hotel in South Korea were surveyed using a self-administered instrument for data collection. Out of 450 questionnaires, a total of 281 usable questionnaires were obtained after list-wise deletion, for a 62.4 per cent response rate. Structural equation modeling analysis provided support for the hypotheses.

Findings

The results indicate a serial multiple mediator model in which both coworker and customer incivility increase service employees’ emotional exhaustion, which, in turn, reduces their intrinsic motivation at work and ultimately decreases their creativity. That is, the findings of this study reveal a negative relationship between workplace incivility (i.e. coworker and customer incivility) and service employees’ creativity that is fully and sequentially mediated by the service employees’ emotional exhaustion and intrinsic motivation.

Research limitations/implications

The use of cross-sectional self-reports potentially raises concerns about common method bias. Caution is recommended in reaching conclusions concerning the causal relationships between the variables, as the current study did not capture causality variation. For instance, it may be that emotional exhaustion from incivility gradually compounds over time, leading to a greater negative impact on service employees. In contrast, employees may develop strategies to cope with uncivil behavior over time, which attenuates the negative effects on service employees as time passes. A longitudinal design might offer an alternative to overcome this limitation in future research.

Practical implications

Considering the findings about the mediating effect of emotional exhaustion between workplace incivility and employee outcomes (i.e. intrinsic motivation and creativity), firms should consider establishing systematic institutional practices and policies to prevent employees from feeling emotionally exhausted from workplace incivility. Executive and senior management teams would benefit by instituting strict policies and regulations which nurture desirable behaviors among organizational members that protect victims of workplace incivility.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine the relationship between workplace incivility and creativity. Moreover, the present study attempts to develop an understanding of the underlying mechanism through which both coworker and customer incivility negatively affect service employees’ creativity.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 May 2020

Hana Medler-Liraz

Although studies have emphasized the need to explore the negative consequences of customer incivility, scant attention has been paid to positive factors that can mitigate…

Abstract

Purpose

Although studies have emphasized the need to explore the negative consequences of customer incivility, scant attention has been paid to positive factors that can mitigate its negative effects on employees’ service performance. The purpose of this study is to extend research on customer incivility and its association with rapport and tipping through the prism of conservation of resources theory. It also examines the role of agreeableness as a personal resource in coping with instances of incivility.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 502 Israeli restaurant servers took part in this study.

Findings

Agreeableness significantly moderated the relationship between customer incivility and rapport: agreeable hospitality employees who served customers manifesting low/medium incivility reported better rapport than disagreeable hospitality employees. However, this effect was not significant for high incivility. Further, agreeable hospitality employees who served customers with low/medium incivility reported higher tips than disagreeable hospitality employees. Surprisingly, the findings also suggested that when employees served customers exhibiting high incivility, the tips were lower for servers high on agreeableness than for servers low on agreeableness.

Originality/value

This study broadens the frontiers of research on customer incivility and provides insights into the critical financial and emotional costs hospitality employees and service organizations incur when encountering incivility. The findings also contribute to the scant research on the potential moderators that may enable employees to handle customer interactions more constructively in the case of incivility within the hospitality industry. Agreeableness appeared to alleviate the negative effects of customer incivility on rapport and tipping but only seemed to be an effective resource up to a certain level of customer incivility.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

Chih-Hung Wang and Hsi-Tien Chen

This empirical study explored how coworker incivility and customer incivility affect the work engagement and job performance of frontline employees.

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Abstract

Purpose

This empirical study explored how coworker incivility and customer incivility affect the work engagement and job performance of frontline employees.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate the incivility and characteristics of hospitality industry workplaces, this study recruited frontline employees from tourist hotels as study participants. Because complete contact information could not be obtained for this population, convenience sampling was employed. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection.

Findings

Coworker incivility and customer incivility reduced work engagement and job performance. The effects of coworker incivility on the work engagement and job performance are greater than those of customer incivility. Furthermore, work engagement has a positive effect on the job performance.

Originality/value

Although studies have investigated the effects of customer incivility, these effects have not been compared with those of coworker incivility. Moreover, studies on the influence of coworker and customer incivility on job performance and work engagement in the hospitality industry and on those of work engagement on job performance have been scant. The current empirical study investigated the effects of coworker and customer incivility on the job performance and work engagement and of frontline hospitality employees.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 June 2022

Jennifer Loh, Md Irfanuzzaman Khan and Raechel Johns

Uncivil customer behaviour is a concern for service providers and can result in increasing vulnerability for them or their customers. This paper aimed to investigate the…

Abstract

Purpose

Uncivil customer behaviour is a concern for service providers and can result in increasing vulnerability for them or their customers. This paper aimed to investigate the interactional link between customer incivility and service provider retaliation and job outcomes. Furthermore, power distance orientation and gender were investigated as potential moderators between customer and retaliation incivilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Five hypotheses were examined empirically through structural equation modelling. Overall, 679 (356 males and 323 females) service providers recruited across three countries, namely Australia (N = 233), Singapore (N = 199) and the Philippines (N = 247), were surveyed online.

Findings

The results indicated that incivility caused work exhaustion, which negatively impacted job satisfaction. Power distance orientation moderated the association between customer and retaliatory incivilities, leading to exhaustion and dissatisfaction with one's job. Importantly, the results also revealed that the female service providers with a higher power distance tend to instigate incivility compared to their male counterparts.

Originality/value

By incorporating both conservation of resource and negative spiral incivility theories, this study provided an integrated and cohesive explanation for both the direct and interaction effects between customer incivility, retaliatory incivility and work outcomes. In addition, the finding that emotional exhaustion promoted job dissatisfaction highlighted the importance of examining the former's role especially among the female service providers with a higher power distance as they may be less able to restrain their retaliatory behaviours during uncivil incidents. Several practical solutions aimed at reducing the vulnerability encountered by the mistreated service providers were proposed.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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